The Story of KIDDO at Swifts Creek
The SCECDC is situated along the Great Alpine Road in the High Country. The small community-focused town has faced numerous challenges in recent history, from bushfires to the dreaded pandemic. Due to the recent inconsistency in being able to attend childcare, school, and sporting events, children have become less physically active, leading to more complex issues within society and our healthcare system. GPHN data states that 10.9% of children in Gippsland are considered vulnerable to emotional development before starting school, and the 2021 KIDDO Fundamental Movement Skill Report shows that 6.5% of children in Victoria show low movement proficiency.
With this data in mind, GippSport was able to provide a program that enhanced peer connection and resilience, whilst fostering relationships between carer and child by focusing on:
Increasing the physical activity levels of children
Increasing social inclusion and social connection opportunities for children
Increasing the levels of physical literacy in children with a focus on 2–5-year-olds through the provision of a thorough framework and delivery of programming
KIDDO in the High Country is a result of the East Gippsland Primary Care Partnership (EGPCP) facilitated HEAL Network. HEAL stands for Healthy Eating Active Living and brings together key organisations in East Gippsland that work in health promotion and physical activity. KIDDO was being discussed at a HEAL Network meeting and it was identified by an Omeo District Health Promotion staff member, that it would be a benefit to the children of Swifts Creek.
In Term 4 2021 we ran a severely Covid-impacted program, comprised of seven sessions across the term. The sessions were delivered thanks to the generosity of Swifts Creek P-12 School, who enabled us to use their facilities for delivery. Despite the intermittent nature of the sessions due to Covid, we were able to engage with the community, provide them with an opportunity to see KIDDO in action, and see the potential benefits of the program if it could be delivered without interruptions. It was at this program that the local Swifts Creek ECDC Coordinator asked how the program could be implemented during the daytime and how it would look, being hosted at their facility.
By Term 2 2022 we were running the KIDDO program every Tuesday morning at Swifts Creek where we were able to engage with nine children and improve their basic movement skills, knowledge around being active and confidence to engage in new games and activities and interact with their peers.